LAMBERTVILLE, Mich. (WKRN) – A 15-year-old boy carried his younger brother for 57 miles in Michigan to raise awareness about cerebral palsy.
According to ABC News, Hunter Gandee was sore when he crossed the finished line Sunday afternoon with his 8-year-old brother Braden, who has cerebral palsy.
The duo started at Braden’s elementary school in Lamertville on Friday and ended at the University of Michigans’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Ann Arbor.
“I wanted to show people the struggles that Braden has to go through daily. I wanted to go out and show people we can make the world a better place for people with cerebral palsy,” Gandee said.
Carrying Braden is a normal thing for him. Gandee usually carries him into places like grocery stores, according to ABC News, saying it’s more convenient than Braden’s walker.
Last June, the two completed their first long walk together called “The Cerebral Palsy Swagger.”
“We had such a great success last summer when I carried Braden 40 miles that I wanted to try it again and make it even further,” Grandee stated.
Gandee rotated between three different harnesses that helped disperse Braden’s 60-pound body. They stopped every three miles for physical therapists to check on them and stretch out their muscles, according to ABC News.
“If it weren’t for everyone cheering and walking with us, I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” he said. “I collapsed at the end of the second day because I was so tired. My legs were so sore but my friends picked me up and I made it through the third day.”
ABC News reported that no less than 15 people were walking with the Gandee and Braden throughout the three-day trek.
Gandee told ABC News that it was his mother who came up with the idea in 2014.
“She had a dream that I was carrying Braden to raise awareness and that’s just what I did three months later,” the high school freshman said.
Since the first walk, Gandee and Braden helped raise more than $130,000 for a new playground at Braden’s school, Douglas Road Elementary. It has ramps accessible for Braden’s walker and rubber flooring instead of mulch, ABC News reported.
“There’s so much more to be done for people with cerebral palsy,” Gandee stated. “The walk was long and hard, but worth it.”
A GoFundMe account was created for those who want to help by donating.
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